You Don’t Want to Work Out

man using exercise bike with agonizing face

You Don't Want to Work Out

What if I told you about this amazing new fitness program. It’s not too challenging, you could complete it quickly, and you could learn all the steps easily. This is the fastest growing workout program in the country, everyone is doing it, and everyone loves it. What if this program was available to you at a reasonable price, 24 hours per day, and you just showed up with little planning? This program is simply amazing! You’d be hard pressed to turn it down. Now, what if I told you that if you simply committed to completing this program for one year, at the end of that commitment there would be no difference in your life. No increased strength, no weight loss, your fitness wouldn’t be positively impacted in the slightest. Everything that you seek to gain from the cost, effort, and time would be completely and utterly absent.

Doesn’t sound like such a good deal, does it?

Why would this program lose its appeal simply because it doesn’t deliver the results? The answer to this question is simple. It’s so simple that we easily forget about it, to our own detriment. When we think about a fitness program we think about the result. It’s the only thing we care about. Whatever your individual goals are. Your goals are the reason you do it. In the absence of reaching any goals every other aspect of the program seems… pointless. Regardless of how appealing they might otherwise be.

Yet, when we are in a fitness program we stop thinking about the results. We get hung up on the time, cost, and effort that it takes to execute the program. Moments before you decide to head into the gym these are normally the “excuses” we give ourselves. Rarely do we stop and think about increased strength, bone density, energy, appearance, better sleep, and increased mood control. Why we do this is quite simple. Humans are incredibly good at forgetting future rewards to avoid immediate inconvenience. This has been shown repeatedly in studies of human behavior. It’s just part of being human.

However, there is a fitness program that is free, takes no time, and zero effort. It’s called doing nothing. This one also produces no results but makes more sense because with no effort one would expect no results. This is the program millions choose every day. It’s not thinking about the better life you can live. It’s the status quo and it’s pervasive. It’s also not what we want in life. If you could get the results without any work. If it were as simple as pressing a button and all your goals were delivered, I would guess everyone would be clamoring to press the button as quickly as possible. That button doesn’t exist.

When you break it down, very select few people would be interested in doing the “work” simply for the sake of it. When you think of your fitness in this way it becomes obvious that the workout is not what we seek. It’s the results. You don’t want to work out, and lying to yourself about that fact isn’t going to work for very long.

So why focus on the workout when the results are what we want? When I speak with people about their fitness journey there are several standard responses. Time, cost, and effort are the lion’s share of excuses. They are good excuses too. Especially when you are thinking of the workout and not the results. When thinking of the results the sacrifices to achieve your goals become much more reasonable. This is normally the association made when someone signs up and commits. Yet soon after signing up they stop thinking about the results because they are a future reward and right now the inconvenience is at the forefront of your mind.

Thinking of your fitness in this way is demotivational. Getting hung up on the here and now and losing focus on the results will certainly narrow your focus and make it impossible to succeed. When you are faced with the challenges of the day and the difficulty of the workout, and never think of the goal you’re signing up for failure.

The only way to power through this is to obsessively think of the results. Results become the main thing you think of. The only thing that can stop the bombardment of excuses your brain is going to throw at you is relentless focus on the results. There is no victory without it. Workouts absent results are pointless, results absent effort are impossible. This is a simple fact.

So the next time you are struggling with the thought of making it to your workout, stop and focus on the results. Your brain will have no counter argument when your results are what you seek. It will help you stick with the plan, no matter how many obstacles your brain throws in your way.